Overseas helmets

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Overseas helmets

Postby stretch » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:26 pm

Has anybody had their helmet checked at a race to see if it has the australian standard sticker? Im looking to pickup a bell volt online but I don't want to be caught out at a race. I will be entering local crits (doesn't seem to be a problem) and larger races such as sydney road champs.
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by BNA » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:42 pm

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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby sogood » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:42 pm

stretch wrote:Has anybody had their helmet checked at a race to see if it has the australian standard sticker? Im looking to pickup a bell volt online but I don't want to be caught out at a race. I will be entering local crits (doesn't seem to be a problem) and larger races such as sydney road champs.

Just have a KMart special AS stickered spare helmet in your car on standby. :lol:
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:50 pm

stretch wrote:Has anybody had their helmet checked at a race to see if it has the australian standard sticker? Im looking to pickup a bell volt online but I don't want to be caught out at a race. I will be entering local crits (doesn't seem to be a problem) and larger races such as sydney road champs.

Yes many times...they go thru a period where CA gets on the clubs backs then it dies off for a while.But they will do a check again for sure.
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby stretch » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:29 pm

sogood wrote:
stretch wrote:Has anybody had their helmet checked at a race to see if it has the australian standard sticker? Im looking to pickup a bell volt online but I don't want to be caught out at a race. I will be entering local crits (doesn't seem to be a problem) and larger races such as sydney road champs.

Just have a KMart special AS stickered spare helmet in your car on standby. :lol:


Pretty much my plan haha except its a MET.
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:37 pm

stretch wrote:Has anybody had their helmet checked at a race to see if it has the australian standard sticker? Im looking to pickup a bell volt online but I don't want to be caught out at a race. I will be entering local crits (doesn't seem to be a problem) and larger races such as sydney road champs.

Should something happen and your helmet is found to be in breach of the regulations, the insurance protection may become null and void. Your club and the Federation may also face serious sanction for not undertaking appropriate due diligence.

Also, the Chief Commissaire is personally responsible for ensuring the safety of all and s/he may be personally liable (ref insurance protection issue already mentioned) should this happen and no checks were carried out.

Is an O/S helmet with a US/Canadian/Euro standard any better than an AS approved helmet? Not IMO but I don't make the rules.

As a rider, you would likely face suspension from racing (even if you are injured to extent that you couldn't race anyway) and a fine.

It's these minor details that always make me nervous when I act as Commissaire.
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Postby sogood » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:52 pm

Irrespective of the rights or wrongs of the rule...

I haven't had to buy a helmet for myself for about 10 years. I still use my 1997 Giro Ventoux. However, at the time I bought it, I did A LOT of research into helmets and standards. Some of this info is 10 years old, but here's what I learned.

- Each country does their own safety testing, and enforces their own saftey standard.

- Safety standards are not universal. There is a lot of variance in what constitutes an acceptable helmet from country to country.

- The Australian Standard was nowhere near the best in the world. The best standard in the world was the USA SNELL Standard. For example, the Australian standard does not incorporate a load distribution test, as is required under SNELL. In fact, the Australian standard simply involves dropping a helmet from a height of 1.5m. No helmet would be likely to be moving at more than 20km/hr if dropped from that height, and most cyclists travel much faster than that speed when riding. Further, a light helmet is likely to hit the ground with lower speed, due to wind resistance, so the Australian standard is biased towards less dense helmets, rather than helmets which provide superior cushioning of impact. E.g. It is entirely possible that a styrofoam fruit box could pass AS2063! Lastly, it is usually shearing forces that cause head injuries, not direct blows, yet no test exists to compare helmets' abilities to protect against shearing forces.

- Manufacturers did not need to pass the Australian Standard to sell a helmet in Australia. The BV website still says that you can buy helmets in Oz without AS2063 certification, due to a loophole.

- Whilst Standards are useful, they should not be the only factor you rely upon when choosing a helmet. A manufacturer only needs to have one helmet pass the simulated crash test in order for a helmet to be certified. You don't know if it was the first helmet, or the 1,000th helmet that passed that test.

Statistically, the certification means nothing. If you only destroy one helmet, then you are relying on a sample size of 1 to draw conclusions about the entire population of helmets being used. Any statistician will tell you that there is no useful information that can be obtained from the smallest of sample sizes. You need to destroy somewhere around 1,500 helmets to obtain data about the population of helmets in use. Since no manufacturer will do that, the best data comes from studies of accidents. These provide an indication of which helmets actually seem to have saved lives.

- My Giro Ventoux still has stickers in it that says it passes the SNELL B90 Standard, and the Australian AS2063 standard. This is long after ALL the protective padding has eroded away. Incedentally, despite so much technical advancement in helmets over the last 10 years, the Australian standard AS2063 has not changed in any way to recognise this, whereas other countries have updated their standard (I.e. SNELL B90 is now B95).

- Anyway, if I had bought a quality helmet from overseas, and done my research, I would have no qualms about using it with or without the AS2063 sticker. I'd also be confident going up against anyone in a court of law with some of the findings I've got. (There is alot more info that I haven't brought up yet...)
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby sogood » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:44 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Should something happen and your helmet is found to be in breach of the regulations, the insurance protection may become null and void. Your club and the Federation may also face serious sanction for not undertaking appropriate due diligence.

Is an O/S helmet with a US/Canadian/Euro standard any better than an AS approved helmet? Not IMO but I don't make the rules.

As a rider, you would likely face suspension from racing (even if you are injured to extent that you couldn't race anyway) and a fine.

The key word here is may. If the insurance company uses an AS sticker as their excuse to refute a claim, I suspect there'll be a bun fight and uproar in the courts and media, especially if the involved helmet is a top of the line model that's also sold in Australia.

Here's another question. What statutory powers does CA or a race organizer have in dishing out fines? What if the rider ignores the fine and doesn't really care if they lose their race license or not? Will they go to goal?
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:58 pm

sogood wrote:Here's another question. What statutory powers does CA or a race organizer have in dishing out fines? What if the rider ignores the fine and doesn't really care if they lose their race license or not? Will they go to goal?

I doubt they would be able to put a debt recovery action on you. It wouldn't be practical or cost effective to do so anyway.

Quite simply you will never be able to ride in any event requiring a UCI accredited licence (anywhere in the world) until your fine is paid and your suspension is served.

You would also be unable to enter restricted areas, such as the velodrome infield during events/compatitions in support of others or for other official/accredited purposes (e.g. coaching, photographer etc).

IOW - just don't do it unless the event itself permits the use of such helmets (there are only two domestic events where this is the case: track TTs and Individual Pursuit) or an exemption applies (e.g. international UCI sanctioned events such as the TDU).

Like I said, I don't necessarily agree with the rule but that doesn't mean I suggest that to be a reason to ignore/break it.
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:07 pm

sogood wrote:The key word here is may. If the insurance company uses an AS sticker as their excuse to refute a claim, I suspect there'll be a bun fight and uproar in the courts and media, especially if the involved helmet is a top of the line model that's also sold in Australia

Quite possibly but I can assure you as someone who has received some (modest) monies from said insurance, you do not want anything that might delay or reduce the money you may receive, nor have to front up for the legal fees to enter a bun fight.

You have way too many expenses as it is. Even though I had private health cover and income protection insurance, I can assure you the out of pocket expenses I and my family have incurred since my cycling crash have been substantial. Without the monies received in a timely manner and financial support from my family, I would have been screwed well before any bun fight got near a court house.
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby sogood » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:20 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Quite possibly but I can assure you as someone who has received some (modest) monies from said insurance, you do not want anything that might delay or reduce the money you may receive, nor have to front up for the legal fees to enter a bun fight.

You have way too many expenses as it is. Even though I had private health cover and income protection insurance, I can assure you the out of pocket expenses I and my family have incurred since my cycling crash have been substantial. Without the monies received in a timely manner and financial support from my family, I would have been screwed well before any bun fight got near a court house.

I was just being a devil's advocate there. Yet again, there are plenty of hungry ambulance chasing contingency lawyers out there.

But you are right in what you've said and I appreciate your experience, one that is consistent with what I have seen too.

On a related note, not sure if you looked into this, but based on my read, CA's accident insurance policy is quite pitiful when compared with BNSW's member policy. BNSW's policy essentially covers any activity on bikes while CA's restriction are numerous with lower monetary values.
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby sogood » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:28 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Like I said, I don't necessarily agree with the rule but that doesn't mean I suggest that to be a reason to ignore/break it.

Yes, I appreciate this point. A rule is a rule. However, putting an illogical rule out in public for discussion may influence alterations in the rule over time. Unfortunately though, the financial links b/n CA and its sponsoring businesses will likely block any proposed change relating to the requirement of that AS sticker.
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:18 am

sogood wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Like I said, I don't necessarily agree with the rule but that doesn't mean I suggest that to be a reason to ignore/break it.

Yes, I appreciate this point. A rule is a rule. However, putting an illogical rule out in public for discussion may influence alterations in the rule over time. Unfortunately though, the financial links b/n CA and its sponsoring businesses will likely block any proposed change relating to the requirement of that AS sticker.

Yes, and I have in fact had input into some rule changes where I felt that a change was warranted. This just isn't one of them because I am not sufficiently qualified to debate the merits of different standards for helmets.

All I know is I don't get how an Aussie head would be that much different from a Pommie, American or European head.
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby Aushiker » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:37 am

sogood wrote:Unfortunately though, the financial links b/n CA and its sponsoring businesses will likely block any proposed change relating to the requirement of that AS sticker.


Are you referring to races run on public roads here or races run on tracks or private or closed roads? If the races are run on open public roads, then ultimately it is not CA decision.

Why? The national road code (and I am assuming that the relevant section is adopted in all states) applies, i.e., an approved helmet (which means an Australian standard helmet) must be worn when riding on the road/paths.

With respect to the TdU, I assume the SA Government passes a regulation relaxing the relevant section of their Road Code for the event or is the road considered closed and hence the road code does not apply? It wouldn't be a decision by CA as they don't have the power to change the law last time I checked :)

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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby sogood » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:36 am

Aushiker wrote:Are you referring to races run on public roads here or races run on tracks or private or closed roads? If the races are run on open public roads, then ultimately it is not CA decision.

It's a blanket rule for all races with some limited exception I understand. You race, you have an AS sticker on your helmet.
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby Aushiker » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:35 pm

sogood wrote:
Aushiker wrote:Are you referring to races run on public roads here or races run on tracks or private or closed roads? If the races are run on open public roads, then ultimately it is not CA decision.

It's a blanket rule for all races with some limited exception I understand. You race, you have an AS sticker on your helmet.


I think you are missing my point which related to your comment about the CA and sponsorship. Races on public roads, irrespective of CA rules, would required approved helmets as it is the law. Hence your comment about the CA and sponsorship at least in the context of road races on public roads was at best unfair.

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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby tuco » Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:15 pm

stretch wrote:Has anybody had their helmet checked at a race to see if it has the australian standard sticker? Im looking to pickup a bell volt online but I don't want to be caught out at a race. I will be entering local crits (doesn't seem to be a problem) and larger races such as sydney road champs.

Never had a helmet check up here but we have been warned it could happen.
Why risk wearing a non stickered helmet?
It will be a problem is you have an accident and you're trying to get the insurance / compensation claim because you're not covered.
No sticker, no insurance.
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby sogood » Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:31 pm

Aushiker wrote:I think you are missing my point which related to your comment about the CA and sponsorship. Races on public roads, irrespective of CA rules, would required approved helmets as it is the law. Hence your comment about the CA and sponsorship at least in the context of road races on public roads was at best unfair.

As CA use one single blanket rule for both off road and road racing, I'd say my earlier comment is perfectly plausible.
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Re: Overseas helmets

Postby Aushiker » Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:39 pm

sogood wrote:
Aushiker wrote:I think you are missing my point which related to your comment about the CA and sponsorship. Races on public roads, irrespective of CA rules, would required approved helmets as it is the law. Hence your comment about the CA and sponsorship at least in the context of road races on public roads was at best unfair.

As CA use one single blanket rule for both off road and road racing, I'd say my earlier comment is perfectly plausible.


...and why I am not surprised :roll:


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Postby toolonglegs » Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:04 am

Now will my Aus helmet be eligible for French races :roll: ...you have to have a doctors certificate to race or even ride with a club in France...I went to a meeting tonight at my club for anyone who wants to race...it is complicated!...oh how I miss 3 or 4 races a week thru summer in sydney! :cry:
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